Paella & Sangria...All Is Right With The World

Prince Jordan returned to The Kingdom today after his first semester of college and I decided to make a family favorite to welcome him home: Paella A La Valenciana

It was absolutely delicious and while the recipe can seem a tad intimidating, if you get all the ingredients ready in advance (chopped and ready to go) then it is actually pretty easy to put together. You do need a VERY big pan that can go from stove top to oven. An authentic paella pan can be rather expensive ($100+), but I found this pan at Macy's a few years back for about half that. Remember, I said big and it HAS to be able to go from your stove top to the oven.

Here is a blurb from the cookbook "The Foods & Wines of Spain":
Paiella A La Valenciana (Chicken & Seafood Rice)
This is the rice dish that has achieved world renown...A medley of colors and tastes, this version has authentic flavor and is spectacularly beautiful.
Although the list of ingredients is long, most of the work can be done in advance, and since paella is a meal in itself, it needs no accompaniment. Paella a la Valenciana never fails to delight guests, especially when preceded by a chilled red gazpacho and washed down with an icy sangria.

Now you don't have to use all the ingredients exactly. I do substitute because I just don't care (and nobody else here either) for the mussels/clams (I use scallops). If you don't want pork or ham, use beef instead. Be creative and it will come out wonderful.

6 cups chicken broth -----1/2 teaspoon saffron----- 1-1/2 lb boneless chicken
1 sm onion, peeled--------coarse salt-----------1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 lb chorizo sausage----1 lg boneless pork chop, diced
1/4lb piece cured ham, diced
1 med onion, chopped---4 scallions, chopped---4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pimientos, diced-----1lb sm or med shrimp, shelled
3 cups short grain rice
4 lobster tails or 8 jumbo shrimp ---5 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/2c dry white wine-----1Tbsp lemon juice-----1/4lbs fresh or frozen peas
18 clams, scrubbed------18 small mussels, scrubbed
lemon wedges for garnish
chopped parsley for garnish

Heat broth with saffron & whole onion. Cover & Simmer 15 min. Remove onion & measure 5 1/2 cups. Put aside. Cut chicken breast into small pieces, dry and sprinkle with salt. In metal paella pan, with about a 15in base, heat oil. Add chicken & fry over high heat till golden. Remove to warm platter. Add choirzo, pork and ham to pan and stir fry about 10 min. Add chopped onion, scallions, garlic and pimientos and saute til onion is wilted. Add shrimp & lobster (scallops) and saute about 3 more minutes more, or until shrimp barely turns pink. Remove shrimp/scallops/lobster to platter with the chicken. Add rice to pan and stir to coat it well. Sprinkle in 5 tablespoons chopped parsley and crumbled bay leaves.

Stir in broth, boiling hot, the wine, lemon juice and peas. Salt to taste. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat about 7 min or until rice is no longer soupy but some liquid remains. Bury the shrimp & chicken in the rice. Push clams and mussels into rice with the edge that will open facing up. Decorate paella with lobster/shrimp pieces, then bake at 325 F, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit, lightly covered with foil, for about 10 min. To serve, decorate with lemon wedges and chopped parsley.

I served up Sangria with it. Smiles were had all around